Having the right mountain bike skills and doing plenty of training for your mountain bike adventure will ensure that you have the best possible experience. If you’re just starting out or are getting back in to mountain biking you need to kick off with short rides – no more than 1 or 2 hours – and make sure you use easy gears all the time.
START TRAINING EARLY
Giving yourself at least two months will help your body progress a lot better, without increasing your risk of injury or exhaustion in the process. No one wants to get injured or sick right before their trip! the more hours you put in on the saddle before your mountain bike tour, the more you’ll get out of the whole experience. Read these advices from Alex Glasgow, an experienced and successful racer:
Two rides of one to one and a half hours during the week, and a ride of two hours at the weekend (around five hours total).
Two rides of one to two hours during the week, and a ride of two to three hours at the weekend (six hours total).
Keep the same weekly duration total as above (or a bit more if you can fit it in), but more importantly, increase the intensity of effort during the ride generally, and the intensity of the intervals within the ride. (Always remember to include a 10-15 minute steady warm up at the start of the ride though.)
Ease up. Any fitness gained by riding hard this week will be overshadowed during your holiday next week by fatigue, so take it easy. Reduce duration as well as intensity. Give your bike a bit of love and pampering, replace the cables and brake pads, get a fork service, check everything works fine, give it an oil, and pack it away, ready for next week’s superb riding!
You use your arms, shoulders and core muscle groups to control the bike, power up hills and keep you stable on rocky or twisting descents. Just remember that all of these areas, as well as your legs, need a good stretch at the end of a ride.
It's easy to use honey as a source of energy for long-distance events - in fact, you can treat it just the same as any other carbohydrate gel, as honey takes a similar time to get from mouth to muscle - around 15 minutes. To maintain the body's glycogen stores in endurance events, most runners require 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour. A honeystick
contains 17g of carbohydrate - so two to three honeysticks every hour should keep your glycogen stores topped up.